Trust and its Extensions in Digital Platform Ecosystems: Key Concepts and Issues for Future Research
Trust in the digital environment is essential to overcome the uncertainty and asymmetric information distribution present in digital interactions. The presence of trust enables a measurement basis for the credibility of interaction in digital services such as Facebook, Airbnb, or Uber. However, developments such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal have disrupted the trust relationship with service providers and digital platforms. In a setting where verifiability is not always given and is often defined by a high degree of anonymity, trust significantly increases the likelihood of interaction. The literature on trust, its antecedents, and extensions are rather diverse and, so far, there is a lack of works that conceptualize trust in the context of digital platforms and digital platform ecosystems. Thus, this paper summarizes essential concepts of trust in platform ecosystems and discusses critical issues. I show that trust between members of a platform and trust towards the platform provider are well-established concepts in the literature studied. However, other concepts such as distrust have not been extensively studied but represent exciting areas for future research.
platform ecosystem, digital platform, trust, distrust